I came upon a beautiful post this morning, about the sorrow that the Fall contains for many of us, and have been carrying the message of it around with me all day.
I made a similar choice- some years ago- when the relative ease of everyday life allowed me hope that I might succeed in following through. However, while the odds are stacked far less in my favor during the darker months, my battle must be fought year-round. Day, by day, by day.
I still can't say for sure whether I've come out a winner. Some days I think, perhaps yes. Most days, no.
And underpinning all of the stress, the tears, and the despair is a heavy, aching, unshakeable guilt. Guilt that I should have to so desperately seek out some measure of happiness when my problems are so "first-world" and seemingly innocuous. Guilt that my reliance on God did not prove to be enough. Double that same guilt when I met my husband, and found that his presence in my life, plus God (whom, ultimately I do not trust in or call upon nearly enough) could not cancel the pain. Times infinity, once my children were born and still I languish deep inside, where neither their love, God's love, nor my own boundless love for all of them can ever seem to reach.
As the leaves die off and fall to the ground, the warmth evaporates from the wind, and the sun begins to hide itself away for longer stretches of time I feel such profound sorrow, along with profound love, for the changes occurring all around me. I've always claimed to prefer the Fall to all other seasons, but perhaps that's the wrong descriptor. It seems that what I'm really feeling is a kinship; I'm seeing in nature a pattern mirroring the goings-on of my own soul. The withering, the decay, the darkness- always in preparation for rebirth, though I'm in perpetual anticipation of that day for myself.
Reading of others' struggles helps me feel less alone in my own, but beyond that I'm never sure whether I'm better for having shared in a glimpse of someone else's pain. It seems to leave a mark on me- a stain I can't completely rub away afterwards. And in the meantime, I have demons of my own to fight.
The very idea that have to make the same choice- to seek out joy- over and over again, both bolsters and terrifies me, as well. The simplicity of it is hopeful, but the perpetuity of it is hard to face. Harder still, when armed with the knowledge that it only ever serves as a bandage over a gaping wound. Even my profoundest moments of joy cannot be contained for long within those deepest pits of sorrow- they seep through like seawater in trenches of wet sand, ever thirsty; never satiated.
Still, I seek them.
And thankfully, I find enough of them to carry on- each and every day.